The NHL trade deadline is on March 21st, 2021. It is almost a month away and I thought to myself who are some of the players that might be traded during the deadline. Well I think that there are many that could move but I have narrowed that list down to 10 players. So here is the Top 10 players who could be moved at the trade deadline.
10. F Phil Kessel – Arizona Coyotes
At the time the Coyotes originally acquired Phil Kessel it never made any sense at all. Especially when it goes against everything against using analytics. It was one of the many strange and confusing moves made by former GM John Chayka who was a big analytical guy. His many moves resulted in Arizona yet again restarting their rebuild. Phil Kessel of course is not going to be here in the long term as he is 34 years old and his contract expires at the end of the season. It would be best to get some value for him now instead of loosing him for nothing. He has a cap hit of around 6.8 million dollars so it is likely that the Coyotes will have to retain salary if they are going to trade him. There is no way the Coyotes will be trading draft capital to get rid of his contract as there going to need as many resources to help with their rebuild. I would not be surprised to hear that Kessel has been traded in upcoming weeks.
9. D P.K. Subban – New Jersey Devils
The Devils are not having a strong season this year and will most likely not make the playoffs. I know it is not a name many are considering on the trade block. Especially looking at his contract, Who would want to take a 9 million dollar salary cap hit? I will tell you who rebuilding teams. Teams all the time send draft picks in order for teams to take on bad contracts. Now this is a different case as the Devils are a rebuilding team but the Devils could always retain salary and could attract competitive teams for taking a chance on Subban to help for their playoff push. Luckily Subban is in the final year of his deal so it will be interesting to see what the Devils do with Subban during the deadline.
8. G Joonas Korpisalo – Columbus Blue Jackets
Especially as it is clear that the Blue Jackets view Elvis Merzlikins as the main goalie in the net as they gave him a 5 year contract. Plus the Blue Jackets have a great goalie prospect in Daniil Tarasov who has a ton of potential. Korpisalo while he did struggle in the beginning of the season has had his name mentioned as a player teams are targeting to acquire. With Joonas Korpisalo is in the final year of his contract and he doesn’t have that big of a cap hit at 2.8 million dollars the Blue Jackets could get some value for him. I would be shocked if he does not move in the deadline especially to a competitive team that desperately needs a goaltender.
7. D Calvin de Hann – Chicago Blackhawks
The Chicago Blackhawks are going nowhere this season and should continue to focus on there rebuild. At least they will likely have a high 1st round pick this year. Oh wait, their 1st round pick is Columbus Blue Jackets Property due to the Seth Jones trade. Well that sucks unless their pick is either 1st or 2nd overall as it is Top 2 protected in this draft class. But many players could be on the move in Chicago including Calvin de Hann. Especially as de Hann’s contract expires at the end of the season. He does not have a bad cap hit at around 2.4 million dollars for a guy who is 30 years old. A team that is pushing for a deep playoff run and is low in salary cap could make an offer to acquire Calvin de Hann for draft picks.
6. D Rasmus Ristolainen – Philadelphia Flyers
As a fan of the Buffalo Sabers it was clear they were going to trade Rasmus Ristolainen and when did they made a trade with the Philadelphia Flyers. The Sabers in the Ristolainen deal received F Robert Hagg, a 2021 1st round pick and 2023 3rd round pick. Boy did the Sabers win this trade 100% as Ristolainen has not fit into the Flyers system at all. The Flyers are not good this season and are going to need to get draft recourses to help with their rebuild. Ristolainen does have a 5.4 million dollar cap hit as well but they are going to have to trade him. Especially as he is a free agent in the offseason and should get some value for him now. If they don’t I doubt that the Flyers will resign him. But they are going to have to get less value than they gave as Ristolainen is dealing with an “upper body Injury” (Again the NHL need to change the way they reidentify injuries). I expect Ristolainen to be moved at the deadline.
5. F JT Miller – Vancouver Canucks
Out of all the teams in the trade deadline I always have no idea what to think about the Vancouver Canucks. There is however one player I feel could be on the move and that is JT Miller. To be honest Millier’s name has been thrown around by many teams for a potential trade for many months. It makes sense even though Vancouver still has a chance for playoffs. The team could want to restructure the team with the GM and coaching change despite the record this season. Especially get more draft capital for someone not in there long term future. Miller’s cap hit is at 5.25 million dollars but luckily he is in the last year of his contract so he could be an intriguing buy for any team at the deadline.
4. F Claude Giroux – Philadelphia Flyers
Now we have to deal with a caveat in this one as keep in mind that Claude Giroux currently has a full no-movement clause in his contract and he can dictate where he ends up if he is traded. But it makes sense for both sides in why a trade should happen. The Flyers are rebuilding and are trying to trade what they can for future value and Giroux is a free agent next season. For Claude Giroux he may want to win a cup before he retires as he doesn’t have many years left in is career as he is 34 years old. The Flyers if this deal is going to happen are likely going to have to retain some of Giroux salary as he has a cap hit of 8.275 million dollars. It would not shock me if the Flyers did find a taker for Giroux in the deadline. The question is will Claude Giroux allow it to happen.
3. D John Klingberg – Dallas Stars
I remembered in early January that John Klingberg demanded to be traded if the Stars would not sign him to a new contract extension. The Dallas Stars are in a tough spot with this as they are as of now fighting for a playoff spot. Klingberg is a big part of the Stars success but if they can’t come to terms on a contract soon then it is likely that the Stars could loose Klingberg for nothing. If the Stars play this right they could get a premium offer for him at the deadline. Especially as he has a 4.25 million dollar cap hit and is only 29 years old. Klingberg is a highly marketable player on the Trade Deadline and it will be interesting to see what happens to him when the trade deadline is here.
2. D Mark Giordano – Seattle Kraken
The Seattle Kraken are going nowhere this season as it has been rough. They are likely not going to make the playoffs season and are in contention for the 1st pick in the draft depending how the Draft Lottery goes. What the Kraken needs to do is look at the future by trading players for draft resources and prospects. Obviously Mark Giordano is not the future as he is 38 years old. He is also in the final year of his contract with a 6.75 million dollar cap hit. It is not if but when will Mark Giordano will be traded. I would be shocked if he was not moved during the trade deadline.
1. Anybody on the Montreal Canadians
Ok I am cheating here but come one Montreal is already sellers as shown through the Tyler Toffoli trade. The Canadians are blowing it up and are focusing on acquiring future resources whether it involves prospects or draft picks. Any player in Montreal is going to be up for grabs. Some of the Players I could see on the move is Ben Chariot, Jeff Petry, Brett Kulak, Artturi Lehkonen, Jake Allen (If he is healthy), and many more. A lot is going to change with the Montreal Canadians and I expect a lot of Montreal Canadians players to be traded during the deadline.